Section 29 of the Education Act 2002 sets out that all Local Authority maintained schools must have and make available a procedure to deal with all complaints relating to their school and to any community facilities or services that the school provides.
It is in everyone’s interest that concerns and complaints are resolved at the earliest stage possible – never ignore a complaint when it is received. Many issues can be resolved informally, but where this is not possible, it is important to follow a formal and robust complaint’s policy to show the complaint is being taken seriously and that it is being managed efficiently and effectively.
To support this, Hackney Education has updated its model school complaint’s procedure and produced a supporting guidance note.
Whilst these documents are predominantly targeted at maintained schools, they also provide good practice approaches relevant to complaint management for academies and free schools. Academies and free schools should, however, refer to separate advice, Setting up an Academy Complaints Procedure, provided by the Education Funding Agency when drafting their own complaint procedures.
Headteachers and Governors of all Hackney maintained schools should:
- Ensure that their complaints policy has been reviewed within the last 12 months, that it meets statutory requirements and that it has also been ratified by the Governing Body within the last 12 months
- Ensure that ratified policies are publicised and available to anyone who may want to raise a complaint, preferably being published on the school website
- Ensure that contact details for a nominated complaints lead, the chair of governors and clerk to the governing body are included in your complaint policy and preferably made available on your website